Varadkar rules out three-way Brexit talks with EU and British government

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has ruled out formal three-way talks with the British government and the EU. Picture by Laura Hutton/PA Wire

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has ruled out three-way talks between the British and Irish governments and European Union on the border issue.

Mr Varadkar said such talks were not in Ireland's interests and what was needed was for Downing Street to produce more detailed proposals.

"There won't be tripartite or three-way talks," he said.

"What will happen is that there will be talks between the EU 27 and the UK, and Ireland is part of the EU 27 and we're much stronger by the way as one of 27."

Mr Varadkar added that consultations could take place between the two governments about issues that are unique to Ireland.

"We will of course have negotiations about what could be done to avoid a hard border, but what we won't be getting into is a negotiation with the UK, or a three-way negotiation," Mr Varadkar said.

"That's not in our interest and not the way that this can be concluded."

The taoiseach said that he gave Mrs May's Brexit speech on Friday a guarded welcome, but detail was now needed from the British government.

"What we want is not so much principles and aspirations and red lines," Mr Varadkar told RTÉ.

"What we want is detail, written down in black and white that can be codified into law and that is what is required."

Mrs May's speech, setting out a vision for Britain after Brexit, appeared to unite warring factions in the Conservative Party but Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney cast doubt on her plans for avoiding a hard border by saying that the EU may not accept the proposals.

The prime minister had emphasised technological solutions and placing no new restrictions on the 80 per cent of cross-border trade by smaller businesses.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: